Is Karl Gustav Jung a difficult philosopher?


Is the philosophy of Jung more difficult than, for example, Leibniz or Heidegger (both of whom are rather sophisticated) or compared with Aristotle, who is logical as the father of logic?

Which book is the best to begin with if we talk about Jung?

Nikolay Yasinskiy

Posted 2018-07-04T19:24:31.320

Reputation: 11

I made some edits. You may roll these back or further edit. – Frank Hubeny – 2018-07-04T20:01:19.743

Jung is not a "typical" philosopher. His concern is with human psyche but his peculiar point of view regarding collective unconsicous and society has some relevant phil aspects. See also Jung & Pauli, 1955, The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche.

– Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2018-07-05T06:10:35.043



Marilyn Nagy, Philosophical Issues in the Psychology of C.G. Jung, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1991, is a useful starting point if you want a commentary as you are reading Jung. See also Robert Aziz, C. G. Jung's Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity, Albany, State University Press of New York, 1990.

Jung's theory of archetypes might be a useful starting-point : "Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious," found in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 9, Pt. i, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (New York, 1959).

This is available as a separate text : C.G. Jung, The archetypes and the collective unconscious. Published by London: Routledge (1980).

Not only are the archetypes and the collective unconscious interesting ideas in their own right; they also lead into other things a philosopher would be interested in -e.g., his methodology, his ontology, his notion of a collective mind, his position on religion.

I think it is proper to regard Jung as a scientist, a psychologist, whose multifarious interests took him into philosophy. As a philosopher he has suggestive views but Anglo-American philosophers tend to regard him as unclear and lacking in intellectual rigour. In these respects he is definitely not on the same map as Aristotle or Leibniz or (I would add though many philosophers wouldn't, Heidegger). There is substance to this criticism but then, philosophical speculation of the kind Jung engaged in can be stimulating, suggestive, profound, even if clarity and intellectual rigour are not its prime strengths.

Geoffrey Thomas

Posted 2018-07-04T19:24:31.320

Reputation: 34 276


Richard Noll has written a few books that give a markedly different perspective (

– sand1 – 2018-07-05T10:41:33.747